Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mascara & Modelling

From a glamour perspective it’s fair to say that I’m probably as high maintenance as an empty packet of crisps. I wouldn’t call myself scruffy either, just that I tend to dress for comfort as opposed to making a fashion statement.

The same also applies to hair and make up. The former looks stylish for about 2 days in 2 months, those being when someone competent gets their hands on it. The rest of the time it looks as if someone without a clue has randomly ruffled wax in it (which is of course exactly what I do).

As for make up, well nursing doesn’t require much in the way of facepaint so my skin spends 99% of the time au naturel. If I’m feeling really extravagant I may grab the mascara – though it’s all a bit hit and miss as the mirror in the bathroom has usually steamed up so I end up either poking myself in the eye on clumping all my eyelashes together. Neither of which are good looks. There is of course a slim chance that one day my skin may thank me for leaving it as a blank canvas.

So why is it then that I have over the past few weeks found myself being drawn into the world of Living TV’s “America’s Next Top Model”. A reality TV programme which does as it says and wheedles out the wheat from the chaff (or should I say chav) to find the best America has to offer.

Do I watch it with aspirations of becoming a model? Quite definitely not (fortunate really as I lack all the necessary attributes). Though I have to confess to shimmying up and down the lounge practicing my catwalk poses. All of course to the incredulation of the other half, who inbetween dodging my artistic end of catwalk flourishes enquires as to: 'why?'

I think its attraction is simple. Firstly it’s on when I come home from work and is proving to be the perfect antidote to relieving the stress of sitting on the M4 for an hour. Secondly, it’s pure and simple voyeurism.

Though having said all that as I’m drawn further and further in I find myself enjoying what it’s about – the illusions of beauty. It’s reassuring to come to the realisation that women aren’t born supermodels. Yes, there are naturally beautiful women out there, but hours and hours of high maintenance tweaking and re-styling takes then to the images that adorn the catwalks and pages of our magazines.

There is an element of the interllectual snob within that is not impressed with the rest of me for watching it, even less now that I find myself rushing through the door to tune in. There are of course a million other more productive things I could be doing. But I’m sure, at least I hope the novelty will wear off soon ...

Untill then, tomorrow I’m going to town to buy some hair dye.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Every couple of months nature decrees that my eyebrows need a little cutting down to size. For this I turn to the experts. In all honesty this has very little to do with pampering and more to do with the fact that my approach to shaping is more akin to manic pruning with disastrous consequences.

Eyebrows have preoccupied my thoughts in recent weeks. The reason? I can’t find anyone to shape them and they are in grave danger of growing out of control - taking on an appearance a la Heseltine. (Ok, I jest slightly, but time is not on my side).

Frustratingly though I’m not asking for some complex electrolysis procedure. No, I just need someone willing to yank a few hairs out.

So three weeks have past since I began my search. Ironically even the trusty internet has failed to deliver the anticipated comprehensive list of phone numbers. Even my elation on finding someone who does the job was short lived as call after call I’m met by answerphones, people on holiday, staff shortages and overflowing appointments diaries. Just as I was about to resign myself to waiting out the holiday period page two of my umpteenth google search came up trumps…

….Of course I was totally wrong footed by the response that yes they did do eyebrows and yes they did have a space in 30 minutes. Grabbing my bag I shot out of the door.

There was a brief moment of panic whilst sat in the salon, they apologised for running late. Would they cancel? But I was going nowhere. I’d been waiting 3 weeks, 30 minutes was nothing. 15 minutes later I was heading out of the door with my newly shaped, deforested eyebrows, a contented smile on my face.

Their number is now safely stored in my phone.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

X-Men & Anita Dobson

The irony that I’m going to Comic Con in Earls Court on September 1st will not be lost on those who know me. The extent of my comic reading began and ended with Bunty some 25 years ago and it is considered a significant feat of achievement if I manage to stay awake beyond the first half hour of a film.

Comic con is as I understand it a 2 day geekfest – a model buying and autograph hunting frenzy. Though it instantly gained kudos in my eyes when I found out that Dominic Monaghan and Bill Nighy were going to be there. Still, I wear geek glasses so should be able to blend in no problem.

I have been making a gallant effort to get into the spirit and bought a comic -Not just any old comic though (I’ve been informed that Bunty doesn’t really cut the mustard!), but X-men – which is apparently where it’s all at. Much to the other half’s (and indeed my) surprise I’m halfway through it…….didn’t realise X-men was so racy. Either I’m becoming prudish or it’s not like the cartoon version that used to be on Saturday mornings.

So with one week to go excitement is mounting – especially with news that Anita Dobson (her of Eastenders and big hair fame) is going to be there. Perhaps I can get her to sign my X-men comic.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


As it's been a little over 6 months since I added anything I thought it was high time I put pen to paper (well finger to keyboard) and wrote something.

To be honest it is a wonder I can actually type anything as every muscle in my body is aching. No I haven't got a dose of summer flu, I've started going to the gym where a woman called Cheryl shouts at me. Not in an abusive way, but to instill motivation in my sloath like body. The decision to get fit was spurred on my a number of factors - not least the fact that playing on the Nintendo Wii felt like a 45minute workout.

Needless to say my body hasn't reacted too kindly to this rareity known as exercise so I am walking around looking somewhat decrepid. But somehow still managing to hobble with a certain smugness.

I have been an absolute nightmare this week as every other sentence has contained the word gym. If only talking about it could burn calories - I'd have a size 10 body in no time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mane & Tail

As well as ministering to patients needs much time at work is also spend talking. The nurses I work with are from various parts of the world – so I have over the years obtained a diverse, albeit somewhat obscure knowledge of life in the Philippines, India, Germany, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Always keen to embrace new cultures I enthusiastically devour pakora and all manner of other exotic delights (admittedly, perhaps this is motivated by greed rather than cultural enlightenment) and I have acquired an eclectic knowledge of useless words in various languages. However one thing I have been more reticent about trying is horse shampoo. For 4 years my Filipino colleagues have been looking at my much maligned hair, lifting up its limp strands and letting out sighs. They have not been shy in letting me know their despair. But Mane and Tail they said would be the answer to all my problems. Although I have to admit I have come to think that my hair is more of a problem to them than me. I am resigned I will never have beautiful, long, silky locks, Mane and Tail or not.

Still ,when one of my friends excitedly gave me a bottle of Mane and Tail they’d bought for me from the Philippines excitement took hold. Perhaps I would be soon joined the ranks of glossy manes afterall.

As to be expected Mane and Tail came in an unassuming bottle – no packaging pretences and did look as if it would be more at home in a tack room than at the end of my bath. Still, reassuringly, it did have instructions for human use on the bottle. Interestingly it looked and smelt like bog standard shampoo. The cynic in me thinking this was perhaps some double bluff marketing ploy.

So in I went to work this morning with my newly washed Mane and Tail hair. After 5 minutes of shaking my head around no one had noticed and I was getting despondent and dizzy. I then opted for the more direct approach asking them if it looked different. Apparently not, although they reassured me it takes more than one day, especially in hair of my condition.

Then.. shock horror, someone did comment on how nice my hair looked. Now obviously this could be a set up, but no, it was a doctor who had not been privy to the Mane and Tail saga. Basking in the unfamiliar glow of such comments I trotted off to my desk, giving my hair a little shake as I went. It was all I could do to stop myself whinnying.

Tomorrow brings day 2 of Mane and Tail. Perhaps by the end of the week I will have mane like hair. Though I’ve been thinking back to my days of horse riding. From what I remember manes were made of thick wiry hair. Is this really something I aspire to?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Whiskey marmalade & the bridging region

I find myself every so often buying a copy of Cosmopolitan. An irony, as I am the antithesis of the cosmopolitan woman. Sometimes I just want to peer in and voyeuristically flick through the pages of that world.

So it was I settled down yesterday to read the March edition. With the front cover shouting the following how could I fail to get excited;

35 real men get nakedThis actually did little to get me excited. I am a nurse and spend my days up to my armpits in naked men of the real variety. Seeing the male member day in day out bathed in the soft disinfected luminance of the hospital lighting disengages any such desire.

Love your body fashion updatesI did wonder whether I could perhaps learn a few pointers from these pages. I have to confess my criteria for clothing tends to be comfort first and foremost. Occasionally I do wonder if the other half would like to see me dressed in a slinky little number and prancing around in high heels, as opposed to my smock top and timberland boots. Testing the waters on potential suitable attire, I passed the magazine over to him, open on a fashion page bearing a very leggy blonde wearing a denim shorted jumpsuit. From his 5 minutes of hysterical laughter I gathered he thought that perhaps this was not my look.

As he kindly put it: “We’re not built like this,” obviously including himself in the generalisation designed to water down the blow.

To give him credit, having seen the crestfallen look on my face he overcame his choking and sudden nervousness to continue an explanation: “You see,” he said pointing at her lean brown thighs, “her legs don’t touch at all, they’re just long and don’t even meet at the top, they are joined by that little bridging region.”

I for one have no idea what ‘bridging region’ means anatomically speaking. He continued, starting to feel brave: “Our legs join slightly below the bridging region so these sort of shorts just ride up and look rubbish.”

At this point, realising the truth in his wisdom, I realised that it was perhaps time to move on. Though making a mental note to find out whether “bridging region” was some recognised euphemism I was unfamiliar with.

Hottest sex moves everAdmittedly I did spend a few moments on these pages. But when mouthfuls of whiskey were mentioned along with flaccid members I flicked over – the closest thing I had to this was whiskey marmalade and somehow I didn’t think it would be a suitable substitute for what they had in mind.

There had been momentary excitement when I turned a page to find some of my favourite beauty products carefully arranged alongside a three page article, but this was short lived when I realised it was referring to products of the last century.

So it was that 20 minutes later I had reached the end of the magazine feeling no more enlightened than I had previously. Cosmopolitan remains as much of an enigma as ever and to be honest, I’m grateful for the fact that my personality cannot be moulded and defined by 232 pages of a glossy magazine.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

IT illiterate

The conversation between an IT literate and an IT non literate can be a painful one. I speak as one who knows. I am IT illiterate. With this in mind I usually try to avoid having such conversations with my other half. Especially as he has diagnosed that I have an inability to follow simple instructions!

This week however has seen the other half away with work. Under normal circumstances this wouldn’t be a problem. An odd phone call to inform me he misses me, can’t wait to see me and to enquire whether I have had anymore dodgy haircuts. However, this week he forgot his mobile phone. (Now of course some might say this all sounds highly dubious and the perfect excuse for him to have a nag free week! I agree it doesn’t look good – but then again we are talking about the man who once walked home from the petrol station and forgot his car!)

No problem he said, we can MSN. Typing messages into a little box and pressing return – what could be so difficult about that?! What indeed, well nothing bar the fact I kept getting disconnected and hopelessly confused in my attempts at troubleshooting. Increasingly terse messages from my beloved seemed to negate the idiom absence makes the heart grow fonder! I knew I was onto dodgy ground when the messages were being sent in CAPITAL LETTERS!

Fuelled by some kind of gung-ho mentality he then decided to go one stage further and give me a crash course in voice activated MSN! Still wondrous at the abilities of modern technology I took inordinate delight in pressing play and hearing his voice. Keen to reciprocate I pressed the buttons as instructed and started uttering words of endearment into the computer – nothing. So I began shouting words of endearment - still nothing!! By this stage I am sure the neighbours had a glass to the wall wondering what I was doing!

As 10 minutes became 30 and then 45 minutes with still no sign of a functioning microphone utterings of endearment became mutterings of frustration. Acknowledging that my ineptitude had beaten him we agreed to abandon any further attempts to communicate in this way.

Recovering from IT overload I was disturbed by yet more technology, my mobile phone vibrating somewhere in my bag. Retrieving it I was rewarded by the much cheerier tones of the other half. Courtesy apparently of skype. (Skype it would seem being some internet telephone software rather than an oddly named friend lending him his phone!).

An email to my phone the next day left me even more confused about technology. Computers that can make phone calls and phones that can receive emails. Perhaps it would have been better if I’d stuck to old fashioned letter writing!